Keeping an eye on the competition is a great way to avoid wasting resources on marketing strategies that might not be right for your business. Learning from your competitors is an important part of developing a strategy that works, and in this post we’re going to dive deeper into the six best ways you can keep an eye on your competition and learn from their efforts.
1. Don’t Copy What They’re Doing, Understand It
First take a look at what your competition is doing, and what’s driving results. Don’t just start doing what they have done, put their strategy in the context of your business. Will this work for you like it has worked for them? Take this knowledge and adapt it to your unique business. It’s also important to look at what is not working for your competitor and find out why. This can help you predict future issues in your own strategy and eliminate failure before it happens.
2. Listen To What Others Say About Them
Find out what others are saying about your competition. Look for complaints about service issues or product defects. Social media can also be a great tool to help you find out how people really feel about your competitors. Use this information to your advantage, in product development for example, to address those complaints and offer a better solution than the competition.
3. Look At Your Competitor’s Websites
How are your competitors using their website for their business? Examine the design and functionality and evaluate how your website compares. What seems to be working, or not working, for them? Discover weaknesses and try to solve them with your site or adapt their innovations to suit your needs.
4. Use A Secret Shopper
Send someone through the competitor’s sales cycle to report on their processes. What are they doing differently that you may be able to adopt? Analyze different aspects of their process and try to discover why it works for them. Then use this to decide why, or why not, the same methods might work for you.
5. Look At How They Advertise
Look at the ways they are delivering their advertising. Do they primarily use digital ads, email and social media marketing or traditional methods? Which method seems to be working best for them? This can give you insight on how to reach your target market and find new ways you can improve based on their advertising efforts.
6. Subscribe To Competitor Information
Newsletters, social media and any other updates your competition offers customers can give you additional insight into their strategies. You can also learn a lot about the audience your competition is trying to reach by looking at the tone, style of writing and design they are using.
It is not enough to be one step behind your competition by copying what makes them successful. Use these methods to learn from your competitor’s mistakes before you make them yourself.
It’s important to stay true to your brand and your business, use what you know to find something that will work just for you. This will put you in a position to innovate and get ahead of the competition.
Get Started Today:
Now that you know how to learn from your competition, it’s time to get started:
- Make a list of your competitors and choose three to start evaluating
- Begin by analyzing their websites and social media accounts
- Make an outline of what you learned – Include your likes and dislikes about their methods
- Use this outline to review when making future marketing decisions or building a marketing plan